Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays to IZOD Indy Car and Other Race Fans Far and Wide

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 2:39 am

It is my hope that each of you have a happy holiday regardless of your preference or bias. It is time for a few days off to spend with family.

Food for thought for 2010 for my friends at Indy Car: Whoever is responsible for making a decision that Indy Car races will not be streamed live on the Web for free needs to lose his/her job. That decision is in the top 5 dumbest ever made in racing. Why, if you are starved for viewers, would the IRL or Versus deprive those who cannot get Versus? Stupid.

But I digress. Merry Christmas! I’ll be back in a few days or sooner!

December 23, 2009

cart Craybabies Crap At Christmas. What Else Is New?

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 2:45 am

Gordon Kirby

One of the leading enthusiasts of the memory of the long deceased cart series crapped out some festive holiday twaddle without anything even remotely resembling a point:

http://www.gordonkirby.com/categories/columns/theway/2009/the_way_it_is_no215.html

What is it about Gordon Kirby and that ilk that refuses to let even a memory of the failed cart series fade? Kirby and former cart engineer Tony Cicale wasted bandwidth whining like spoiled children about the defunct cart series. When such immature delinquents decide to finally grow up and join the rest of the world here in what is nearly 2010 the entire sport will be better off.

“Many people in racing spend quite a bit of time looking back these days and it’s remarkable how many say that for a short period of time from the late eighties through the nineties cart’s PPG Indy Car World Series was the world’s best racing series.”

Why not suggest such people orient themselves inside this decade and century and do something worthwhile that advances the sport instead of lamenting about how great you believe it was? If it was that great how on earth did they manage to self immolate themselves out of existence twice?

“Many of us enjoyed watching cart’s growth and we hoped and believed it would get better, rather than worse. In recent years fans and participants from across North America and around the world from F1 to NASCAR have remarked that we lived through a great epoch in the sport’s history without really appreciating it.”

That hasn’t stopped your ilk from nearly continuous self-crucifixion since 1995. We have heard this crybaby bleating enough. Dedicate yourself to the future evolution of the sport. You cannot undo the past. Stop all the hysterical yammering and grow up.

“Tony Cicale is one of America’s most respected development and race engineers. Cicale was Andretti’s race engineer at Newman/Haas from 1983-’85 and again in 1988, ’90 and ’91. Cicale won the 1984 cart championship with Andretti, the 1995 cart title and Indy 500 with Jacques Villeneuve, and the 2003 champ car title with Paul Tracy. For both Villeneuve and Tracy, Cicale was much more than an engineer. He was also a tutor and mentor. These days Cicale is a reluctant retiree who enjoys wind-surfing off Long Island, NY, and Florida’s Gulf coast.”

Reluctant because cart is dead? Enjoy the wind surfing, pal. The IZOD Indy Car Series has a long history of welcoming former cart malcontents with open arms once they finally decide to wise and/or grow up.

“When you’re involved in something you always think it’s better than what it ultimately is,” Cicale adds. “But I thought it was so unique going to all those different types of circuits. You had the superspeedways–Indianapolis, Michigan, Pocono and later Fontana–and you had the street circuits like Long Beach, Vancouver and Toronto, and road circuits like Elkhart Lake, Laguna Seca and Mid-Ohio, plus the different variety of short ovals from Milwaukee to Sanair. It was really unique and an incredibly strong period in American racing.”

Wow…kind of like the schedule diversity of today. Pay attention.

“It doesn’t even come close today,” Cicale remarks. “I try to watch the IRL races and I can’t. They’re just so terrible. I watched the races this year, but I can’t think of one that stood out as an even acceptable race. It has very little meaning to me, which is sad. From the start I thought the whole IRL business was ridiculous and it’s very sad to see the results of all that power squabbling and politics. It was a dreadful period for racing.”

Wah wah wah. Cicale is the worst kind of crybaby. If you don’t like it, why are you even bothering with commentary? cart apologists like that are the absolute worst and do not even deserve to be in the sport with that kind of sour, bitter attitude.

“So too, did Tony George’s attempt to change the course of history stumble and fail. The sad result is very different from the vision originally foisted on the public and swallowed by some in the media. After fifteen years of bitter squabbling Tony George’s failed revolution, aimed at taking control of Indy car racing from cart’s team owners, has been a calamitous failure, ending with a barely audible whimper last June when George was slapped on the wrist and dethroned by his mother and three sisters.”

There is no difference between the sentiments of Kirby and the average illiterate contributor to an IRL hate site forum. Both come off equally retarded in their limited thought. Personally, I would rather be in business with a title sponsor and millions of annual income than deader than disco. Twice. Again, bitter cart apologists who cannot face reality do not deserve to be a part of the sport.

“Thanks to Tony George’s bumbling the legacies of these legends and cart’s greatest drivers have been greatly diminished across America and around the world and Indy car racing has devolved into a highly restricted spec car category equipped with a foreign chassis and engine and little or no aesthetic or emotional appeal.”

The peak of abject stupidity is when disenfranchised cart apologists decide to irresponsibly blame Tony George for their own/cart’s failures. These people prove again and again that they are, without any doubt, the most ill informed, bitter excuses for people on earth. ‘It’s all Tony George’s fault’ is about as imbecilic a notion as it gets.

“George’s failures were brought into sharp focus in 2009 as only five Americans raced Indy cars on a regular basis this past year–Graham Rahal, Danica Patrick, Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Ed Carpenter. And for the first time in the sport’s hundred-year history not a single American driver won an Indy car race!”

Oddly, George has consistently made it a point to hire mostly Americans. How many Americans run for the former cart owners?

“If it had continued on and grown and been important to a large number of people and become a big part of the economy, what you did ten and fifteen and twenty years ago would hold a little more reverence. But because it turned out the way it has, I almost feel it was a waste of time to get involved in it.”

Moral of the story: Do not turn your back on the Indianapolis 500 or attempt to denigrate its importance. When you do, you die.

“Cicale says it’s more a matter of self-respect than public recognition.”

Self respect means moving forward with your lives. Professionalism means you work toward the positive evolution of the sport, not whine like a little girl with twisted frilly lace panties.

“I look at the IRL and I feel really bad that champ car dissolved the way it did because it makes the contributions that you thought were important seem meaningless or irrelevant.”

What was meaningless and irrelevant was boycotting Indianapolis and stupidly believing you could survive without the one institution that gave you all your legitimacy.

“I quite honestly feel that we made so many important strides from the safety side well before any other group even thought about it,” Cicale says. “Yet all the safety stuff we did has been totally obliterated. One of the things I’m most happy that I was involved with in champ car racing is I thought I really contributed a lot to the safety side.”

The most significant safety advance of the past fifty years other than the HANS device is the SAFER barrier, funded and introduced by that evil bastard Tony George.

“What we worked on and developed has been swallowed up into the IRL glob of nothingness. I call this NASCAR car the ‘Car of Yesteryear’. It’s just like the IRL car. Nobody likes driving it and the fans don’t like watching it. It’s total crap. But the people who run racing aren’t interested in making any changes. Oh, for another day!”

The one thing at which all disenfranchised cart imbeciles excel is pointless, counterproductive hysteria. To suggest these types get any respect defies belief.

“I hope the IRL series sponsorship really works for IZOD and they get ten times what they’re hoping to get out of it,” Mario says. “But the thing that is so disheartening is they made the IZOD announcement and nobody knew about it. It made Speed TV and Speed-Sport News, of course. But there was no CNN story, no AP story, nothing written about the announcement in our local here in Nazareth. The media just doesn’t seem to care anymore. Nobody seems to know that Dario won the championship or that he’s a great driver and a really good guy, too. And it’s the same with Scott Dixon. Nobody seems to know, or care, who Scott Dixon is. It’s sad.”

A primary reason the press does not pay a lot of attention: cart and its principals have spent the past fifteen years scorching the earth, and are primarily responsible for fan exodus. You people have only yourselves to blame. NASCAR laughed at the delinquency of cart and its leaders and took advantage.

“In closing, I must emphasize that Andretti and Cicale are incurably forward-thinking, optimistic people. Their careers were driven by these principles and they took great pleasure in working together to solve problems.”

Based on their commentary, I say they appear to be hypocrites. If they are forward-thinking optimists, when does working in positive ways to affect the future evolution of the sport actually begin?

“I’m sure Tony is enjoying himself this Christmas season with some wind-surfing in Florida’s warm Gulf waters, a far more satisfying endeavor than watching IRL races. Meanwhile, the Indy car teams have formed a company, Delta Wing, to design and build a prototype of the new Indy car for 2012. Former Lola designer and current Ganassi employee Ben Bowlby is designing the new car for Delta Wing and there’s no doubt that for Indy racing to rediscover its lost luster it needs a healthy shot of Cicale’s spirit of pushing boundaries through rigorous scientific experimentation, unrelenting hard work and love of racing as a cauldron of new thinking.”

When will someone write a white paper that demands that the owners take full control of the sport? That worked so well the last time. LOL.

Memo to Kirby: Your New Years resolution probably ought to be to try and write just one column that does not mention cart or slam the IRL for no apparent reason and is positive in nature. Think you can handle that?

December 22, 2009

IMS Bends Over Backward (and Forward)

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 1:34 am

I like Jeff Belksus. He is a Hulman-George family outsider (by blood anyway) who has taken a business approach to running the greatest race course in the world. The facility needs that type of business leadership. He is also willing to talk with most anyone about anything at most any time. His accessibility is commendable.

There are only two things that bother me about the guy, and the two things really bother me pretty badly.

  • He speaks in clichéd, buzzword-filled rhetoric. Every single interview he has given since taking over is filled with such tripe. It is as bad as the average professional athlete. He is Joe Heitzler with an accounting degree. You could record the content of every interview and simply plug in the answers for a completely different interview. I wish he was more human and less sound bite generator.
  • He has hopped into the sack with many who have actively worked in the past to lessen the importance of the Indianapolis 500 as well as those who have spent much of the past fifteen years scorching the open wheel earth. He needs to listen to what these mostly ex-cart leaders have to say in the overall interest of the sport, but he should never bend over for them. He seems to be doing a lot of that. The fifteen days or less month of May, for example, is probably their idea. So is the radical new car idea. How long will it be before these self serving sport killers talk the impressionable leader into getting rid of the majority of current ovals? If Belksus and Anton are still buddies he needs to listen to Anton a lot more than the other bunch.

Like many, I am excited about the possibility of more focused evolution, but the last thing any of us need is a transformation into a series that de-emphasizes the Indianapolis 500 and runs mostly non-ovals. That has never worked in the past and will not now.

December 21, 2009

See The USA (and IMS) In A Chevrolet

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 1:28 pm

There have been a number of comments publicly and privately over the condensing of May in Indy. The primary point IMS makes is reasonable; i.e., lots of action crammed into more tightly compressed time, but as a veteran of Indiana weather in May I believe they are setting themselves for a challenge. Climate change being experienced generally means May is what April used to be, and the really good flowers now do not arrive until June. Please, however, do not press me for any scientific evidence.

My biggest problem will be the ability for heartwarming one-off teams to put it all together in a time frame that limits their participation. Time will tell. I also believe not having at least three qualifying days over two weekends sets up time trials for a potential clusterf&#@. It is not difficult to understand that if IMS puts a fresh product on the track every year that folks will appear, assuming effective promotion occurs.

What is it about the relationship between IMS and General Motors that has IMS selecting mostly Chevrolets year after year as the pace car? For many years it was the Corvette, now for two in a row it’s a Camaro. Is it just a mercy hump at this point? Why does someone like a Robin Miller type, unafraid afraid to disturb s*#@, not ask folks at Honda how it feels to be the sole engine supplier and the pace car at every other race, but have to take a back seat at Indy every year? In the old days it was fairly easy to understand the American-made sentiment and the fact that GM (and Ford and Chrysler) had significant operations in the area. That has all changed. The Allison plant down the street from IMS is even shut. There are most likely some B-to-B considerations involved; it takes quite a fleet to operate the half-a-month-of May efficiently. It would be nice if someone asked the question.

Is it May yet?

December 16, 2009

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Guts The Month of May

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 3:53 am

Once again, fans take a back seat.

A lot of calls about the condensing of May at IMS reached the Defender mobile phone today at a location within spitting distance of the greatest track in the world. Frankly, I felt like spitting.

Beans Are For Making Chili Damn It

Those now in charge of the facility made what they felt was a prudent decision by essentially cutting the month of May in half where Indy cars are concerned. Those in favor of the decision are quick to point out that the condensed month still features three weekends of activity and will save a lot of money. Anger may not be the appropriate emotion. What many are feeling is probably contempt instead. After pondering the announcement my biggest feeling is great and profound sadness.

The weakest excuse that can possibly be offered is the ‘state of the economy.’ The month of May is the most sacred tenet in Indy car racing. Chopping it in half is inexcusable. The calendar for May, 2010 ought to feature rookies on the track the week of May 3, which should be opening day. The veterans ought to be able to join the fray the weekend of the 8th, and by God there should absolutely be four days of qualifying beginning with a May 15th pole day and a May 23rd bump day. Do away with the 11/11/11 gimmick as well. Obviously that did not match the hype we were force fed the past few years. How much open time will there be between the previous race and cars hitting the track at IMS? Enough now to kill momentum.

It is easy to acknowledge business reasons for shortening the month, but in some cases tradition must trump the counting of beans. The future viability of the entire enterprise depends on it. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway MUST be run as much with emotion and vision as with ridiculously conservative bean counting. Trampling basic traditions will choke the life out of the place before anyone knows what hit them. The biggest fear for those of us whose month of May is the most important month of the year is that leadership of IMS appears to have relegated themselves to caretaker mode. We have a reincarnation of Eddie Rickenbacker, prepared to rest on past laurels as the place disintegrates while waiting for the next Tony Hulman. But where do we find another Tony Hulman? His heirs appear to feel the sole function of IMS is to be their own private fully stocked ATM. Too many who actually have vision have found themselves fired.

IMS leadership as it stands today appears to lack ANY meaningful vision. Tradition is being systematically cast aside. The Indianapolis 500 is well on its way to becoming just another race instead of THE race. Does anyone realize that what has happened most Mays since the early 1900s has shaped the evolution of the entire sport? Over the past 25 years IMS has stupidly ceded most all genuine American stars, sponsor brands and ovals to NASCAR to a degree that most people now think of auto racing and NASCAR as having the same meaning. And NASCAR has so over-hyped the sport that it may well collapse on itself, taking everybody else with it. The classless scorching of open wheel earth by cart/champcar leadership, participants and shrill sycophants before they all got smart did not help the cause of IndyCar either.

Do you want to know what will make people come to the track the entire month of May? Multiple chassis. Multiple engines. New cars. Technical innovation, not spec cars. The sport has become painfully homogenized in large part because of faint hope a level playing field will mean someone other than Penske or Ganassi will win some of the time. If that happens all the time anyway why not embrace and encourage meaningful innovation? A short month means Indy only dream teams do not stand a chance. Great stories are developed over the entire month, not over a few days.

Most of us understand the business rationale. It is crystal clear, however, that tradition and the vision required to manage the month of May seems to have eluded the grasp of those in charge. Fear may become reality. Many of us have waited decades to attend not only a race in 2011 a century later, but also the 100th running a few years following. Decisions like the one to cut the month of May in half could well mean we may not see a 100th running, and if we do it may be so watered down by business decisions that it will fail to matter. We already know how good at bean counting you are. Now go back and study up on tradition and history and try to learn from both. If you do not, failure will most certainly result.

The future of IndyCar depends on making the right choices not only with heads, but also with hearts. Chopping the month of May in half is both heartless and gutless, and panders to self-interested parties who have had neither the best interests of IMS nor its fans in mind in the past. The decision will hurt IMS in ways they cannot possibly imagine ahead of time. That makes me extraordinarily sad.

December 15, 2009

Racing Fans: Stuck For Gift Giving Ideas?

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 12:20 pm

Santa Defender is ready to help.

There are just a few days left for your holiday shopping, and after a ten second search of the Internet I find myself wondering whether Danica still even drives in the IZOD IndyCar Series. Should you go here http://store.nascar.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=3317875&cp=1736852 you will be assaulted with the same imagery I was, and could be confused.

Danica has not turned ONE lap in any NASCAR event, and yet she is receiving equal billing with Jimmie Johnson. Her participation in any actual Cup event is at least a year away. Do you find yourself wondering how the stars in that series who have earned their fame by driving, winning and climbing ladders for years feel about this particular hype? Perhaps a NASCAR aficionado or two could speculate.

In true NASCAR fashion, the merchandise being offered is over the top gauche (like most racing related merchandise) and would definitely look good on any of the interior panels of most any mobile home or covering barely concealed cellulite. Danica has also announced she will be releasing a fragrance later in the year, but it does not yet have a name. It should be simple and to the point, and if she is serious about going for the NASCAR demo, perhaps she should call it ‘Fart.’ That would definitely grab some more attention. After all, farts = attention.

If she is really going to be the next Mark Martin we should probably review the gals in the pipeline…one that has gotten some serious looks recently is Simona De Silvestro, who is Swiss and also easy on the eyes. Leilani Munter has been off saving the planet but I believe she should be re-engaged by at least a Lights team. There are probably five or six aspiring female IndyCar drivers who are currently active, and that is nice diversity. Milka Duno is not the next Danica, and we may lose her. Even she has announced she will test in NASCAR.

Have a happy holiday and try to steer clear of buying tacky, worthless junk to give as gifts.

December 14, 2009

A Danica-Free Blog

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 12:06 pm

We could easily discuss Danica again. After all, anyone even remotely related to NASCAR does so nearly every minute of every day. But why not talk about something more substantive?

There is an interesting rumor that has Exiled Anton joining forces with classy Indy Champion Gil DeFerran to get a new team with two cars onto the grid for 2010. That would be great news. Trackside Online reported last week that Jonathan Byrd II also has plans to do what his father did and run a team in the IZOD IndyCar Series. The beauty of the plan is the way it incorporates charitable giving into sponsorship; specifically a venture on behalf of Habitat for Humanity in which a house is built the week before the IndyCar race in a specific city (that would potentially be problematic in, say, Motegi). Essentially the builds would be a part of the television show ‘Ev’ryman Victory’ and exposure opportunities would be natural extensions for participating sponsors. This is a GREAT plan, and my hat is off to JB II and the folks working to make it happen.

Have you ever wonder what happened to early IRL driver Steve Knapp, the Formula 2000 champion in 1996 who was the third-place finisher and Rookie of the Year at the 1998 Indianapolis 500? Turns out he built himself a very successful business called Elite Engines up in Wisconsin. Dan Anderson, who now runs Formula 2000 (that sports a way too busy champcar-like official name ‘Cooper Tires Presents the USF2000 National Championship powered by Mazda’) announced that Knapp’s company will prepare all the Mazda MZR engines for the championship class in that series. It is a 170 horsepower 4-banger.

A bigger story is the growing number of rungs on the IndyCar ladder, something badly needed for years. The end of the cart/champcar boycott was good, but a cohesive ladder is vital going forward. There are now four rungs:

Formula 2000 (they will use Cooper Tires)

Star Mazda (they will use Goodyears)

Firestone Indy Lights

IZOD IndyCar Series

The only wish those of us interested in the actual heritage of Indy Cars is that ovals will have more of a place than a percentage less than or equal to road races and godforsaken temporary circuit abominations. That does not look as promising as it should.

December 11, 2009

The Indy Sales Pitch Just In Time for the Holidays

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 1:04 am

IMS has discovered a more consistent and aggressive marketing posture these days. All of the members of my family and circle of friends have had tickets to Indy for years, and we renew them the day after the race every year. Perhaps we should re-think that strategy.

The folks at the speedway sent me what looked like a pretty cool Christmas card in the mail, but when I opened ‘er up it was a sales pitch for:

-tickets to the Indianapolis 500

-tickets to the Brickyard 400

-tickets to the MotoGP

-merchandise

I have also been receiving sales pitch e-mails. Each one offers more incentives to buy more tickets or stuff, like pieces of the old bricks. Why would I not receive those things simply by being a consistently loyal customer?

At any rate, kudos to the marketing staff for getting the word out. FYI, here is what will make me spend more money:

-Bring back Formula One.

-Sell me a single day ticket to the motorcycle events.

-Make the regular retail prices on merchandise realistic.

Here is what will make more people buy tickets:

-Get a new car and encourage participation by multiple manufacturers.

-Stop bagging ovals.

-Encourage participation by more drivers and teams people actually care about.

I wish racing season would get here.

December 10, 2009

There are Racing Stories That Dominate and Some That Should

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 2:14 am

I am about half sick of the two sports stories dominating the sports world for the most part:

1. Danica Patrick deciding to try and run a handful of races on NASCAR’s junior varsity team (and one on the freshmen squad), but seeing the NASCAR nation treat it with the same level of enthusiasm Christians would for the second coming of JHC.

2. Speculation and stalking of shapely, occasionally surgically enhanced females who are suspected of moral turpitude along with pro golfer (and suspected horndog) Tiger Woods. Specifically, he evidently used wood and drivers to try and shoot his balls into holes, but not on a golf course. I personally cannot find much unattractive about his blond wife; perhaps after the I do’s she began refusing certain acts pleasing to Tiger that he could just as satisfyingly receive by equally attractive others. Who really cares?

As a racing fan, I am primarily interested in the present and continuing fortune of IndyCar. More specifically, on ovals. In that spirit, there is actually news no one is reporting, probably because it does not pander to a sleazeball side.

Speaking of sleazy, I have long believed the vast majority of ‘temporary’ circuits are money losing failures except for racing sanctioning entities who get paid no matter what. Racing fans in Canada are among the most enthusiastic anywhere, and usually turn out in droves. It has been a long term belief (and oft stated) that they really ought to build a real track near a population center (80% hug the U.S. border).

Turns out someone actually is. http://www.cdnmotorspeedway.com/

It appears credible for many reasons, not the least of which the involvement of Jeff Gordon. A multi-use facility is what is planned, including:

-a one-mile D-oval with decent banking (looks like Pikes Peak) designed by Jeff Gordon

-a road course that will twist 2.6 miles and be approved by the FIA

-Seating for up to 100K along with the requisite high roller suites and lots of ‘club’ seats

Its location will be within spitting distance of Niagara Falls about two miles from the border. Fort Erie, Ontario.

This is fabulous news. Hopefully someone smart and in charge will put the IndyCars on the oval. Good news in the off season is always a high point of our day.

December 8, 2009

Danica Seeks Additional Challenges…As If She Hasn’t Got Enough Already

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 11:24 pm

The sports world is abuzz today over news that Danica Patrick made a deal with JR Motorsports to drive a GoDaddy sponsored car in some Nationwide and ARCA races beginning with Daytona. It is a two year deal they say will not conflict with her day job in Indy cars. What is cool is the attention this little stunt could bring to Indy Car.

Many believe she is talented but also believe she will end up being another Dario or any of the other open wheelers who have waltzed in to NASCAR and expected immediate success. Some of the more classless, pompous, immature rednecks are already spouting off with nuggets such as ‘The IRL will get her back. Racing with the big boys is different.’

I would like to see her compete in the same way she does in Indy Cars, but I simply do not see that happening for many years. Sam Hornish is probably more skilled than Danica and they have raced together in the past. But look at Sam’s spotty record in the big, heavy, slow cars. Sometimes I wish his daddy had not ended up on his ass in a stupid fight; Sam might still be trying to become the next Rick Mears in Indy Car instead of trying to crack the top 35 every week.

Redneck Idiots Waiting For Danica To Fail

As for Danica, I like the throwback aspect of dabbling in NASCAR (as legends such as A.J., Mario, Rutherford and others used to do), but again, my gut tells me the boys who have actually toiled for years to climb the NASCAR ladder will resent the inordinate amount of press Danica will no doubt receive, and as a result she will get up close and personal with more walls than a drywall contractor. Let’s just hope she can balance the precision and nerve it takes to drive and Indy Car at over 225 against the slow brute force necessary to hop off the jet fighter and onto the bulldozer.

Janet Guthrie believes Danica should try and leverage her top shelf seat with Mikey into more wins. The optimists writing sponsorship checks envision her as a replacement for Mark Martin. I don’t. No one in their right mind would. But sex sells. Juan Pablo has taken three years to reach a minimal level of success in Cup, and he thinks Danica is making the wrong choice.

NASCAR is salivating because they understand the potential value she brings in shoring up their sagging ratings and attendance. We wish her the best of luck. She brings attention to motorsports. But when she gets her ass handed to her it hopefully will not adversely affect her Indy Car career or her stated goal to win the Indianapolis 500. Of course that was Tony Stewart’s goal as well, but that has not worked out either.

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